Monday, 8 February 2010

I want to go back in time - just a few weeks would do

All the submissions I sent off in January have a colossall mistake in them - not wishing to say I was ill or anything but I attached an old file where I'd been cutting out sections to re-order them and experiment. It was the last file I had saved so it looked like the right file but any non-infected human (polite version) could see the mistakes - they started on page two for the love of *****!

I check all four submissions in a row and once again admired the bird table in the back garden. UNRELATED?

Since I've stopped coughing quite so regularly I've started to notice a lot of different things:
  • How ill I was

  • How many files I haven't tidied into sub-sections labelled "Rubbish" (Only the author, with time on her hands, would ever want to look at them again)

  • How some mistakes are easy to make and impossible to put right

  • How many birds come to the bird table when you have enough time to put food out, and to stand still long enough to notice the affect this has on the flighted population in the urban landscape.
7 days into my enforced rest I started work related to school :s

8 days in I re-read NEAR EDGWARE (all the way through). The double entendre section still makes me laugh - neither Jess nor Caleb were intending to have the conversation they realised they were floundering in!

NEAR EDGWARE is riddled with double meanings. A superficially small iceberg floating in seemingly still waters, truth will out, eventually.

9 days in I'm editing STAYING LOST and realising how close to querying it is - that will be a struggle. It is aimed at a different reading audience - MG - but, basically, the same agents.

Resting his forehead on the stone shelf, Jon pressed harder to take the pain away. The rustling from the blanket added music to his desolation. The pain in his head gave him comfort and dispelled the sensation - not of weightlessness, but of nothingness. He didn't cry. He was in a place where pain could not be helped, or halved, by crying: the wound was too deep and the pain too great. He wanted to go back. He wanted what he'd had twenty-four hours before.

If you could have anything at all - what would you want?


  1. I'm sorry for the gaffe you noticed after they were all sent. I have to tell you this happens to me ALL the time. I really wish it didn't.

    What do I want? A literary agent. Now would be nice ;)

  2. I've done this too. Several times (how did I not learn?) The last time was after an agent actually phoned me because he liked my sample pages so much and wanted to know if I had representation yet and if not, would I send the full? I fired it off immediately, not noticing it was the file of a much earlier version where several characters had different names. I didn't realize my mistake until 5 days later, when I sent the current file. (A no-no) I never heard back from the agent at all. He probably figured I was batshit crazy. Sigh. Moral of our stories: proofread, check everything, and then check again. Speed is not of the essence. Accuracy is.

  3. Hi T.Anne and Anne
    I'm feeling slightly less like a total dingbat. I appear to be in good company afterall!

    I have learned to stop writing NEW at the top of everything that was new at that time. :)

  4. Yikes - that's a frustrating mistake to make, but agents are real people too.

    The thing I want most? Time. More time. Lots and lots of time :)

  5. Hi Jemi
    I have my hopes set on page one - and February's agents.

    I second the need for more time.

    It isn't even time for the big things, I feel a need for - just the "stand and stare" variety.

  6. Oh, I've made such mistakes before too. It's almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy. I stare and obsess over the queries so long to make sure that there are no mistakes that I actually make more mistakes. Ugh.

    And as for what I want? A book contract would be lovely.

  7. "How some mistakes are easy to make and impossible to put right." Such a great line.

    And you're right, can't put it right so have move on and learn from it. I'm trying to take your lesson to heart. (PS - Bummer you were so sick, still trying to be productive and bang, that happened.)

    What would I like to have?
    I'd like to have $100,000 in a safe deposit box. Not the bank. A box. Why? I have no idea. The thought occurred to me today while driving and it made me smile. At least then, if I never get published or doing anything very "noteworthy," it'll at least be one of those human interest stories about "She wore old shoes and died with 100,000 in a safe deposit box." ;)

  8. Hi Ronnie
    I swear it is true - the more one looks the less one sees! Very much a case of viewing cross-eyed.

    Hi Bonnie
    As you can see from the comments it is so easy to get so desperate and determined to do things right one ends up making the most basic of errors.
    The safety deposit box idea has made me smile repeatedly. I want to leave behind a keyless safety deposit box so anyone who finds it can go through the gamet of emotions!

  9. Hey hon! I left you a prize on my blog!

  10. Thank you for your comment on my blog. I too have sent off stories than a few days later re-read them only to find myself saying 'How the hell did I miss that mistake?' It just seem so crazy that you can read through things a hundred times and the moment you send it off, it screams back at you ' Hey stupid you didn't see that one...ha, ha.'

    Good luck with your writing project,Elaine.

  11. Hi Jarmara
    Isn't it odd? I read and re-read everything I post out but there always ends up being a least one little glitch.
    The flaw that proves one is human?